As usual, it has been too long since I posted a progress report. So here is something short and sweet to provide proof of life.
Solving the last problem of maps not loading due to en excess of the physics entity allowance by turning the many, many displacement brushes that I use into models, has saved me a complete reworking of the maps but still took a hell of a long time to get right. Thank you to the developer of 'propper' for coming to my rescue.
Then as you may have read I, ran into problems again
"Failed to start game (app already running)"
This was following another SDK update and for months, it prevented compiling of maps as well as continued crashing when running more than one Steam application at a time. I knew it was a local machine problem but could not fix it and I had to consider a reinstall of Steam. Not having a spare hard drive with enough capacity to back up my Steam folder, I borrowed one from a colleague and copied an awful lot of gigabytes across to it. I was just about to follow the recommended method which would completely delete the Steam folder when I decided to have one last search for a solution. And after many months of searching, what should suddenly appear in my browser list, this: which I post as a reminder to myself and for anyone suffering as I did.
So after all the grief and frustration, all I had to do was delete a bunch of files from the top Steam folder and click on the Steam exe and it was up and running again in a matter of minutes. Sigh!
Since then I have been able to pile on the coal and it has been full ahead with the mapping. Yep, I'm still on the mapping of TIS 3 as my original concepts seem to be a lot harder to realise than I imagined. As an example (and probably an indication of my poorly trained design processes), it has taken me a week to design a puzzle. In that time I worked out the idea, researched the entities needed to make it work, mapped the area, tweaked and tweaked until it worked properly. Then created new models and textures to fit the scene before more testing to find the things I missed. This seems like a lot of work for something to fox the player for a few minutes but who has ever read a paragraph of a book and actually considered how long it took to put down those words and get them perfect, so that you could read them in a few moments. It's something that you just have to do and it is very satisfying when it works.
So, how close am I to completing this marathon of mapping you may wonder. Well that is the good news. Even though I thought I was detailing out the final map I have discovered a natural break in the player progression. Yes, this is good news! The the map was getting a bit large and unwieldy due to (cough) more displacements and I can now expect to complete it in a few more sessions. Then I can say I have started on the last map, which should be relatively small but full of.... stuff. Naturally this is all likely to change when I get that killer idea, that needs to be added to make the concept complete but that's creativity for ya.
I hope this update and the few screens I have posted keep you intrigued and provides more questions than answers.
Till the next time,